This tea is “palace-grade” where they sift the shoot tips (the ‘golden buds’) for the tea after the pile fermentation step. Unlike other palace-grade tea, according to TeaVivre it is 100% pure palace-grade with no additives or substitutes, not a mixture. Sounds good to me. lol
The dry tea consisted of golden brown and dark leaves with not much of an aroma, to be honest. The liquor begins as a light red but becomes a very dark, bright red color. The taste is a very pleasant, clean, mild Puerh, with nutty, woody and smoke notes. There are sticky rice notes throughout the infusions, some cream. As usual with Menghai, there are the classic earth and mushroom notes in both aroma and flavor. Some slight bark notes, and sweetness developed somewhere in the middle. Many reviews said it wasn’t quite smooth enough for them. Maybe because they were from years ago but the one I tried was very smooth with no bitterness, mellow. Lots of notes of roasted nuts, mainly of chestnuts and walnuts. The sweetness was more like caramel, not honey. There is a thick slickness feeling on the tongue. Buttery almost. Maybe a little sticky. At the end of the sip, there is almost a mint or cooling feeling on the tongue. I enjoyed it. I think it’d be good for beginners because it has a very clean taste to it, not heavy on fermentation notes.
Gaiwan, 10g, 212℉, 110ml, 11 steeps: rinse, 10s, 10s, 10s, 10s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 60s, 90s, 120s
Flavors: Bark, Chestnut, Earth, Mushrooms, Smoke, Walnut